His Mercy

"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"

A Thought

In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

Prayer Quote

“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis

Faith

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Three Aunts and a Niece



The girls had a lot of fun with a recent visit from Katie :)

Some Things Just Can't Be Fixed

I was thinking today about a conversation I had with a dear couple at our church.
They asked about Erika, and how she was doing. They noticed that she is not sitting that much better than she was before the huge surgery. I had such high hopes that the surgery would cause her to sit better and cause her to walk better. While she is bending a little more, and sitting a little better, it didn't accomplish what I had hoped for in my heart. I had this grandious idea that she would be sitting like me, and bending like me and that her leg would be turned more. The surgery did some important things, like reconstructing the hip socket helps to keep her hip in place instead of going out, but it didn't do much for the onlooker who would be looking for a bigger change.

I have known all along that much of what is going on with Erika's body cannot be fixed this side of eternity, short of a miracle that is. There are those times when I think about it, and mourn for her losses; especially her loss of freedom to completely be independent. And yet there is this part of me that trusts. Trusts the Lord that HE is in complete control of Erika's body and in her future. Who am I to question the creator? Maybe it is meant for another person in her future to be blessed by becoming her caretaker/aide. And I guarantee, it WOULD be a blessing for them. She is the sweetest, kindest, gentlest child. I am so proud of her, and happy for the progress we have made together. I love caring for her. I pray for the person who will come after me and Mike, when we are gone, and she is living her own life, be that person her husband, or her friend.
So when my heart hurts, like right now, I know where to go for comfort. To my Lord.
He already knows.

The East Coast Minichs



I just had to put these pictures up of Joe Becca and Sam.
I asked the older kids if I could get some new pictures of them, and this is what Becca sent.
I am so proud of these two. They are plodding along and doing so great. They are loving and sweet parents, and a mom couldn't be prouder.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More Reflections

When I was a young girl, I remember listening to our Sunday School teacher ask us, "Don't you just wish the Lord would return today?"

Now here I was a 14 year old professed believer, and in my heart I was thinking NO. I haven't gotten married yet? I've never kissed a boy! And.... we are going to Disney
Land in just 2 more weeks!

I was obviously thinking as a child. I shared with my Sunday School teacher my concerns and he so sweetly did not laugh at me.

Looking back on my youthful foolishness is sometimes humorous and sometimes sad. My focus on me. A selfish teenager.

C.S. Lewis once said, "Pain is the megaphone to rouse a deaf world". If that is true, which I believe that many times it is, God must have thought I was stone cold deaf!

But looking back, I am thankful for that chisel of pain the master has used in my life to shape me into his image. I am certainly not "there" yet, but I no longer long for the things of this world, as I did when I was a teen. Do I have my eyes completely fixed upon my savior? Sadly,no. I get distracted by the ways of this world, daily life, business, fear, taxes, and then......
there is that gentle intervention; HE calls me......
"I AM HERE!" "I AM".

He brings me to my knees. He causes me to remember, who I really am, why I am really here. I am not my own. I am not here for me.

I came across another Kelly Willard Song and thought the words were so appropriate:
This is my prayer today:

BEAUTIFUL JESUS

Wounds that bled for my forgiveness
Infinite Love, Beautiful Jesus

Precious fragrance Smile of Mercy
Intimate friend, Beautiful Jesus

Now I see Through a darkened window
But one day soon
All will be revealed, And I'll finally behold my groom

Dancing eyes are piercing through me
Melting my soul, beautiful Jesus
Opening my heart so gently Merciful touch
Beautiful Jesus

Now I know Only glimpses of a perfect face
And a greater loveliness than my searching heart has
ever known

Beautiful wonderful lovely are you
Rose of Sharon Rose of Sharon
you are the Rose of Sharon

(and I would add)
And a greater loveliness than my searching heart has ever known.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Folks Who Pass Through Our Lives

I was just thinking about how neat it is that we have had so many folks just pass through our lives. They touch us in many ways and we are richer to know them.
Relationships are like pieces of tissue paper that has once been glued together. When torn apart, they leave fibers of each color on the other piece. That is so much how it is with friends and fellow journeyers.

It might be one little thing they said, a comment that is memorable, or a smile that is etched in memory. Those fibers of life are forever woven into the fabric of our spirit.

We have many friends who are moving on, some to other countries as their stay here in America has come to an end, some have moved to different geographical areas and some have moved on eternally.

It reminds me that every moment that I spend with another on this path we call life is a fabric that will be placed into the life of another. I want that fabric to be of heavenly quality, fit for a Child of the King.

The Body of Christ is such a treasure, and I am so thankful to have been touched by so many wonderful lives.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Humility vs. Humiliation

When we talk about being humbled, there is a big difference between being "humbled" and being "humiliated". One denotes positive spiritual awareness, where a person is humbled before the Lord, made aware of sin, and then there is a repentance.

Humiliation on the other hand, is demeaning, exposing, damaging. When a person is humiliated, sin may be exposed, but not in a loving manner. More in an accusatory manner.
Satan Humiliates
The Lord Humbles

Satan Accuses

The Lord Guides.
He is not on the opposite side pointing the finger. On the other hand he is reaching out , to guide us on the path.
It is so important with our children to be that guiding light that places their hand into the reaching hand of the Lord. Especially in times when they need that humbling presence.

This a.m. our Anna had one of those moments. She was being rather snotty. I had her come and sit by me for a while and she did, but with that "I don't care attitude" that can push those "oh so active buttons" on a mom.

I took her over to the computer and played Kelly Willard's newest song "Humbe Me".
I didn't say anything, but she joined in with singing the song.
The words are:

Humble Me, Humble Me
Take my life, let it be
Pleasing only Lord to thee
Humble Me

I am proud, I am hard,
Lord my heart is torn and scarred
Lay your hand upon my life
And Humble me.

Humble me
When you see me swiftly straying
Draw me near that I may hear
Your Spirit saying
Come to me, Come to me
For I long to see you free
I know your heart
I love you still
So come to Me
(words and music by Kelly Willard)

After we finished singing, there were little tears coming from my precious
Anna. She whispered, "I prayed mom."

Isn't the Lord just so tender~ and sweet!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Parenting

I have been thinking over and over how the last 30 years have changed our lives. Raising 4 boys, to Empty nesters, to raising 3 little girls. They didn't come the usual way, or maybe they did?
(kicking and screaming) Just larger. :)

I always say, we got our girls "potty trained and talking back". :)

There is much to be said about being parents on how to "change" or "tame" the wild beast of a child. But little is said about what really needs to happen and how God in his infinite wisdom, KNEW, that while we THINK we are teaching them, they are really teaching us.

They are teaching us how to use self control, they teach us how to ask nicely, they teach us how to love unconditionally, they teach us that we really don't have it all together, even if there is 1 child or 10 children.

The most important thing they teach us is to be on our knees in prayer for them and for ourselves, asking for wisdom from above, as the responsibility is huge and time is not slowing down.

Many years ago, I would read all about "this is what you do to make your child mind".
I didn't like the books I read, and tossed them for the scripture itself. I found the answers to my deepest concerns, and wisdom for my older children. Much change took place in my life in regards to parenting.

Now,I am more comfortable as I look inwardly and ask myself, "if my child is not obeying like I would like to see, with the right ATTITUDE, what have I been doing to come along side, guide her to the next step and help her to see what she should be doing? Am I being the example I should be? Or.. am I modeling what I am seeing in her?

This type of parenting has opened up a whole world of exploration and experience that is freeing and wonderful. Seeing the responses of those little girls, those eyes that look at you so lovingly and trusting, the pleasure of obedience. And.... it isn't law oriented, it is love oriented, it isn't law driven, it is love driven.
And it is a journey in life that we walk together. Mike and I as the teachers, and authorities in their lives, but always seeing that we too are being taught and under the authority of Christ. Oh my, how that perspective changes you, humbles you, brings you closer in your walk with the Lord.....

Are things perfect? No. Because WE are not perfect. But there is such joy in the journey.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Our Journey Update



We have been having such a great time with our girls, and it is hard to beleive that in just a little over 4 months, it will have been 2 years since Erika joined our family.

I was thinking about that as she was playing a fast game of backgammon with dad before breakfast this a.m. She proudly said that she had made my bed, and also wanted to go out to the shoppe for dad's thermos to fill it with hot coffee for him. She needed to get on a coat and the only one out was the one she handed down to Sarah. YES! Handed down! We had brought this coat with us to Ukraine for her to wear and it fit her nicely. Now, she tried it on and the sleeves were half way up her forearms and the bottom was up to her upper hips! She started to laugh! Look at this, I'm a woman!
I've grown into a woman! :)

Oh my she has grown in so many different ways, spiritually, emotionally, physically, intellectually....

For those of you just glimpsing at this blog, our entire journey to Ukraine is in the archives. Our very first post. It is a collection of emails sent to family while we were gone and until we came home.

I can't believe this beautiful, sweet girl, who was doomed to spend the rest of her life in a mental institution has become our precious joyful sweet daughter. Such a gift from the Lord to two very undeserving parents. This experience has been the embodiment of grace.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Set On Fire

So many great things have happened in the last week in my heart. I was a little discouraged during the Christmas Holiday time. Though I was having fun and enjoying the season, there was this continual tug on my heart to remember, remember, remember.

Remember where your heart truly is. While we haven't forgotten, it seems too out of reach and far away, and yet at our age, We should know better. After all, adopting children, going to Ukraine to get one, seemed "too out of reach and far away". But we serve a mighty God, full of ways and means to get things to happen. And it usually starts with just a dim spark. Sometimes that spark turns into an ember buried in ash, nobody knows it is there....

Our spark has been buried in the ash of general life, work, business, laundry, the pursuit of orderliness, cleanliness, books, Dr. appt's., grand kids, and that doesn't even touch the surface of distraction. It is embarrassing how long the list can be.

But that burning ember, is there. It still calls and we know that we can rest that in God's time, things will happen. But that doesn't take the responsibility away of getting ready and being prepared.

It seems that this year we have gone the other direction. Sort of like trying to go on a diet and gaining weight instead, and then realizing once again, that the diet has to start now, and we're just that much further away from the goal.

So, we can cry and complain about how awful we are and how things will never happen, or we can get on our knees and repent and begin the process of working towards the Mark that God has placed in our hearts, partnering with the creator on HIS WILL.

I think we'll choose the latter.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Organization is NOT the Enemy

Sometimes it seems that "getting organized" is on my list of "things to do". Will it ever happen? How do some people just seem to be able to have everything in its right place and everything actually HAS a place?

This is my own personal cross to bear. My FLAW that wakes me in the night. Is it possible I am missing the organization gene? That is it! I am not responsible for my flighty filing, for my endless search for lost items! I'm missing a very important gene!

Somehow, I'm not convinced of this.

Structure and Self Discipline can seem so "uncreative" at times, but when not practiced to excess, leaving room for creativity, I think it helps one be MORE creative and actually can give a person MORE free time for less "stressful" activites than looking for lost keys 10 seconds before leaving the house.

I am forever greatful for Mike encouraging me to strive to do better in this area. Mabye by the time this year ends, I will have had a successfully organized paperwork year.

And that will make BOTH of us happy. :)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Great News!!!!!

One of the little guys who was in the Orphanage with Erika and Sarah and is featured in one of the videos below has found a FOREVER FAMILY!!! Praise the LORD! I am so excited for Misha and his brothers! A wonderful family somewhere in the USA has adopted the boys. They will be picking them up from Ukraine sometime next week. Praise the Lord for answered prayers. Praise the Lord for a family willing to answer the Call.

Praise the Lord!!!!

You Are Still Holy

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